Takeda: No deal has been struck for Nycomed

Takeda Pharmaceutical sent out a response this morning to reports yesterday about its interest in buying Swiss drug developer Nycomed for potentially more than $12 billion, saying there is no agreement in place. Yet the Japanese drug giant definitely didn't say anything to counter reports that its in talks with Nycomed, which could beef up its R&D pipeline and bring it new operations in Europe and India.

In a statement, Osaka-based Takeda said it "would like to make clear that Takeda has not agreed to any such an agreement as suggested by certain newspaper publications. In addition, Takeda has a policy of not commenting on any rumors regarding our business."

Read into this what you want. Takeda, Japan's biggest pharmaceutical firm, is in the same boat as a lot of big drugmakers who face falling profits as blockbusters fall prey to generic drug competition. And a potential buyout for Nycomed--which is based in Zurich and controlled by private equity players Coller International Partners, DLJ Merchant Banking and Nordic Capital--would add the recently approved COPD drug roflumilast and a pipeline of late-stage treatments for gastroenterology, osteoporosis and respiratory ailments.

Despite Takeda's talk of no deal being in place to buy Nycomed, Bloomberg cites a source as saying a deal could be struck by as early as next week. The news service also notes Takeda's profits are headed for a 13-year low within three years with the expected drop in sales of its major Type 2 diabetes drug Actos due to generic drug competition. So the company definitely has some motivation to seek buyouts, but it's still too early to tell whether the Nycomed deal will get done.

- here's Takeda's statement
- read Bloomberg's report